Aidez show-and-tell

Finished!

I look like such a fast worker when all of my WIPs are finished in the same week! Don’t believe it. I’ve had this sweater on the needles since January. And now that it’s off the needles, it lives almost constantly on me.

Finished! 2015 86/365

This is Aidez, and it’s knit in a bulky weight yarn. I think this may be a first for me, but I used the exact yarn called for in the pattern (Berroco Vintage Chunky [it was an alternate choice, actually]), right down to the color (#6105 Oats). I am often all about bright colors, but I’ve felt the need for a neutral in my closet – something I could wear throughout the cold months that would coordinate with absolutely everything else I own. The sample color fit that bill very nicely.

Finished! 2015 88/365

I love the look of cabled sweaters. This one, due to the bulky yarn and the #10 needles, moved along much more quickly than I expected. When I started out to knit this, I was prepared to have it be one of those projects that I am dragging around with me for months. And while it did take me months, most of that was because I had to take a break to work on another project.

Cables are enough of a challenge to keep my brain engaged in the process, but not so hard that I ball up the whole project and rage quit it. And the end result is so impressive! I just love the way it looks, and I have to say, I often just can’t believe that I knit this sweater myself. I have a distinct memory from about 7 years ago, where a friend asked me if I had knit a cabled sweater I was wearing. I hadn’t (I bought it at a thrift shop). And I was so taken aback by the mere suggestion that I could knit something so complex. At the time, I couldn’t knit at all!

Finished!

In that context, this is super cool :-)

If I could change anything about the way I worked this pattern, I would have knit it in one piece instead of with seams. There are handy instructions for converting the pattern and everything! But I had already started my seamed version when I saw the instructions and I didn’t want to start over. If I ever knit another one of these, though, it will be in one piece. I really hate sewing seams, and I’m not all that good at it either. Don’t look too closely at that part of my sweater…

Finished!

My goal now is to get as much wear out of it as I can before the weather gets warmer. I’m off to a good start :-)

May Baby Blanket show-and-tell

May Baby Blanket show and tell
As promised, here’s a little show-and-tell of my latest crochet blanket.

This one, while quite small, took me forever! The actual crocheting went fairly quickly, but before I got to that point, there were so many times I made decisions about color and pattern only to change my mind and start over.

This was what it looked like the first time I started it:

Work in Progress

It was to be pastel dots on a brown background. I started it before I knew whether I was making it for a boy or a girl, so I was keeping it relatively neutral. My plan was to make two stroller blankets: this one, and another that would feature bold colors on a gray background.

The thing is, by the time I got this far in the process, I was pretty sure that I didn’t like the way it looked. It didn’t fit my vision at all.

So decided to start over, leaving more space between the dots.

Work in Progress

That was ok, but I wasn’t feeling those colors, and the dots were not staying round.

So I decided to scrap the two-blanket plan and instead make one that used both bold and pastel colors. I switched to using gray for the background, and then I tried pastel dots outlined in bold colors.

07_blanket_01_ul

I didn’t like that, either. It was essentially a traditional Granny Square with a circular center, and while I am a fan of the old-fashioned granny square look, I didn’t think my recipient would be.

It was at this point that I stuffed the whole thing in a bag and didn’t look at it for a few months.

When I finally came back to it, I knew I would be crocheting for a girl. And I knew her parents had picked out pink and gray things for her nursery. That helped me make the decision to ditch every color except for the pastel pink and the bold pink. I added white, and chose gray for the background. Finally, a color scheme that felt right to me!

2015 76/365

When I got to working on the squares, I decided they couldn’t be the traditional granny square style, but instead something a bit more modern. I took some cues from the Mod Floral Blanket in terms of making a square while preserving the center shape, and came up with a square that I really liked.

May Baby Blanket show and tell

May Baby Blanket show and tell

May Baby Blanket show and tell
I’m quite happy with the way it came out. My only regret is that I couldn’t make it a little bit bigger, but I suppose it’s a good size for putting over her legs in a stroller (which is why I’m calling it a “stroller blanket” and not a “crib blanket” or a “floor blanket”). If I’d had another week or two, I’d have added at least one more row to each side.

May Baby Blanket show and tell
I really need a live model. I hope my sister-in-law will let me borrow her baby in a few months :-)

Oh, and why am I calling it the “May Baby Blanket”? My new niece is due on my birthday at the end of May, so it’s been designed and crocheted for a May baby, by a May baby. It seemed appropriate :-)

I will be writing up a pattern for this one, although I think I have to do my taxes first (booooooooo!)

If you’re interested in the pattern, keep an eye on the blog, or subscribe to the monthly Download Shop News so you don’t miss the announcement!

TWiP: Off the hook and on the needles

This Week in Pictures

I have a blanket to show you! I got caught up in other things and never blogged the finished stroller blanket. You know, the one I started many months ago and went through several iterations before I finally settled on a color scheme and design I liked? I will definitely have to write up a little show-and-tell for you next week. The blanket was a gift, but I subjected it to a photo shoot before I gave it away.

Finishing that blanket last Friday night freed me to get back to the cabled sweater I started a few months ago. I’m so close to the finish line on this one, I can taste it. It’s one of those things where the stitching looks really complicated and I can hardly believe it came off of my needles. I love it!

I plan to finish that this weekend, and after that I plan to live in it constantly until the summer comes. I think those are both do-able plans.

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for my Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2015), plus some everyday-life snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

Instagram: At @sclarke803 ‘s baby shower :-)

365: 2015 79/365 – My sister-in-law’s shower, with lots of stars and pink and glitter :-)

Instagram: Some of you wanted to see the finished stroller blanket… Think I should publish the #crochet pattern?

Sunday

Instagram: Like mother like son…

Instagram: That may be *actual* buds I see on the tree across the street! #happydance #springreallywillcome

365: 2015 80/365 – Fireside knitting seems like it should be *so* last season, and yet, here we are.

Monday

365: 2015 81/365 – The almost-12-year-old has been developing an interest in drawing lately. One of his favorite subjects is Pokemon.

Tuesday

Instagram: I had an errand to run at the mall, so a quick stop for coffee and a flip through some crafty books/magazines seems in order :-)

365: 2015 82/365 – Food shopping today.

Wednesday

Instagram: Today’s post-workout activity: sipping coffee and brushing up my skills. #indesign #patternpublishing

365: 2015 83/365 – The flowers are coming along nicely.

Thursday

365: 2015 84/365 – Staying hydrated is more fun when pretty accessories are involved.

Friday

Instagram: Neil is having some routine testing done, and I’m keeping him company. Hoping to make real progress on this sweater I’m knitting – I’m on the last sleeve!

365: 2015 85/365 – Look how close I am to finishing! I’m so excited :-) I’d finish it tonight if I didn’t have other work to do!

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickr.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

TWiP: Saint Catrick’s Day

This Week in Pictures

Aidan has been sitting next to me on my bed for the last hour. I tried to get rid of him when I started blogging, but the kid doesn’t take a hint very well. (“I got the hint,” he says, “I just decided to stay.”)

It’s been a busy week, most of which is represented pretty well by this week’s pictures, so I don’t have much to add. This is a good thing, because I’d kind of like to be a vegetable for the rest of the night.

As far as this week’s theme goes, I wanted to call it “Spring Green” but Aidan insists “Saint Cat-rick’s Day” is the way to go. Oh, I am being told there is no hyphen in Catrick. There’s nothing like blogging while a wise-ass teenager looks over your shoulder… I need an eye-roll emoji.

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for my Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2015), plus some everyday-life snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365: 2015 72/365 – Two pillowcase-ish dresses for my young cousin, G. I like her taste in vintage sheets.

Sunday

365: 2015 73/365 – It’s that time of year again: green bagel time!

Monday

Instagram: Nearing the end of this blanket! Just one more square after this. Yay! (Oh, and also a border that I haven’t yet figured out, but let’s not talk about that…)

365: 2015 74/365 – I’ve been seeing just how far I can stretch the capabilities of my 5mp cell phone camera lately. I just got an adaptor so my Gorillapod tripod can hold it, and a Photojojo macro/wide-angle lens. I think I’m going to be instagramming lots of tiny things…

Tuesday

365: 2015 75/365 – I’m not Irish, but I’ve got enough green in my closet to choke a horse, so wearing it today is kind of a no-brainer.

Wednesday

365: 2015 76/365 – A little afternoon crochet.

Instagram: Shopping for a gift and I am lost in the girly section. I can’t find a single thing on the list! #allthepinkisdisorienting #momofboys

Thursday

Instagram: If he can hop a flight for sunny warm Florida while we face yet another winter weather advisory here at home, then I can certainly justify taking myself out to breakfast ;-)

365: 2015 77/365 – Zeus is so happy to be part of the blog tour for the new "Cats in Hats" book tomorrow. Can’t you tell?

Instagram: Hooray! The first flower of spring!

Friday

Instagram: I bought this to share with the boys after school, but I’m going to have a little taste right now. I am sure that I can totally stop after one spoonful. #thingsitellmyself

365: 2015 78/365 – Winter and spring are duking it out today. Go, spring, go!

Instagram: As much as I want to hate this, I can’t deny how pretty and peaceful it is coming down…

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickr.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!